Publisher’s Letter January 2010

What Will Make Headlines in 2010

I am very excited that 2010 is finally upon us! It is not that 2009 was really all that bad in hindsight, but unlike any other year I can remember, there were so many unknowns in 2009 …

  • What would healthcare reform look like? What would it mean to my company, my hospital, my department, my job?
  • Would capital ever start flowing again?
  • Would the equity and investment markets continue to plummet?

Not that total clarity has emerged by any means from those concerns, but it seems like we are getting back to normal – albeit a new normal. This year will bring many new surprises, but there are a few big issues we will be certain to watch.

Data standardization’s first sunrise dates will come and go in 2010. This will be very interesting to watch, because the suppliers to the healthcare contracting arena will scramble to meet the requirements of GPO-mandated deadlines. How many of our nation’s hospitals and IDNs will implement the standards? Will it reduce cost and increase safety if only a couple of links in the chain are on the platform?

The GPOs continue to chase the non-acute facilities in an attempt to increase their market share. It seems like every day a press release comes across my desk from one of the national GPOs announcing a new relationship with some organization other than a hospital. I am sure the 30,000 to 40,000 facilities have been added to GPO rosters in the last couple of years. In 2010, this trend will keep its momentum.

The regionalization of group contracting is a huge movement that will continue to change the landscape of the contracting arena in 2010. We are currently tracking 122 Regional Purchasing Coalitions that comprise over 800,000 beds and 30 million admissions! These organizations are growing rapidly in number, control of supply chain spend and in favor of IDN executives every day!

Many other issues will come up this year as well. We all know there is never a dull moment anymore. From all of us at The Journal of Healthcare Contracting, best wishes in 2010.

About the Author

John Pritchard
John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.